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Entries in Nuclear Scientist (3)

Thursday
Jan122012

US Denies Involvement in Murder of Iranian Scientist

SAJAD SAFARI/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House issued a strong denial Wednesday that the U.S. had anything to do with the death of an Iranian scientist involved in the country's illicit nuclear program.

Speaking to reporters, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "I want to categorically deny any United States involvement in any kind of act of violence inside Iran.  We believe that there has to be an understanding between Iran, its neighbors and the international community that finds a way forward for [Iran] to end its provocative behavior, end its search for nuclear weapons and rejoin the international community and be a productive member of it."

Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi accused the U.S. and Israel of planning the car bomb attack that killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan and his driver in the northern part of Tehran.  Authorities said that two riders on motorcyles slapped a magnetic explosive onto Rahimi's vehicle, which then detonated.

Fars News Agency reported that Roshan worked at the Natanz nuclear facility where he supervised a department at Iran's main uranium enrichment site.

Iran, which typically blames Israel and the West for any act of terrorism inside its borders, vowed that the government would continue pursuing its nuclear ambitions, which it claims is only for peaceful purposes.

Officials in Israel also denied any culpability for the car bomb attack.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan112012

Nuclear Scientist Assassinated in Iran, Blame Placed on Israel

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(TEHRAN, Iran) -- A scientist who worked at one of Iran's sensitive nuclear sites was killed in a targeted bomb attack in Tehran Wednesday morning, state media reports.

According to Fars New Agency, an unidentified motorcyclist planted a magnetic bomb on the car of Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, the deputy director at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, killing him and injuring two others.

An Iranian official has blamed Israel for the attack.

"The bomb was a magnetic bomb similar to the bombs that were earlier used for the assassination of [Iranian] scientists and actually the job was done by the Zionists," Tehran's Deputy Gov. Safar Ali Baratlo told Far News Agency.

Wednesday's incident comes amid increasing tension between Iran and the West, who worries that Iran is getting closer to building a nuclear weapon.  As a result, the U.S. and other nations have slapped political and economic sanctions on the country. Iran has responded by threatening to cut off oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jan042011

Nuclear Scientist Detained and Tortured in Iran?

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Shahram Amiri, the Iranian nuclear scientist who returned to Tehran in July after what he called a "kidnapping" by the CIA, has been held in detention by Iranian authorities for two months and tortured so badly he was hospitalized, according to a dissident Iranian Web site.

An article on Iranbriefing.net claims that an unnamed family source says Amiri was held in a safe house after his much-publicized return to the country.  He was allowed to have supervised visits with family members before being moved to a prison in Tehran in October for interrogation.

Amiri, a professor at Tehran's Malek Ashtar University, defected to the U.S. in 2009 after funneling Iranian nuclear secrets for the CIA for several years while still inside the Iranian nuclear program, American officials told ABC News.

Amiri was a key source for the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate that concluded the Iranian nuclear weaponization program had been halted after 2003, according to a former senior U.S. intelligence official.  The CIA began pushing Amiri to flee after publication of the NIE, said the official, because the agency feared the Iranian government would discover Amiri's role in providing the information.  Amiri disappeared while on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in June 2009, and then resurfaced in the U.S., first at an apartment in Tucson, Arizona and then at an apartment in Springfield, Virginia.

After more than a year in the U.S., Amiri claimed he had never really defected.  In a series of videos released on the Internet in early 2010, he insisted he had been kidnapped, drugged and tortured by the CIA.  He claimed he was trying to elude U.S. agents so he could be reunited with his wife and son in Iran. 

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